Preventing Human Errors in Aviation Maintenance Using an On-Line Maintenance Assistance Platform

Guo-Feng Liang, Jhih-Tsong Lin, Sheue-Ling Hwang, Min-Yang Wang, Patrick Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In an effort to increase aviation maintenance and inspection safety, this study develops an on-line maintenance assistance platform (on-line MAP) for technicians to perform maintenance tasks. In this platform, the risk of human error was defined in each task procedure to prevent human errors and improve satisfaction with the job. The on-line MAP reminds technicians to consider the effect of human error on systems and humans, human error relative to seriousness rank and frequency, and graphic information aids in each removal and installation procedure. To verify the proposed platform, experiments were conducted on a JT8D engine during the inaugural flight of Boeing's 727 to compare the current workcard instruction and the proposed on-line MAP in two high-complexity teamwork tasks and one low-complexity individual task. In addition, a subjective questionnaire survey (addressing maintenance behavior, issues related to the current workcard, performance shaping factor (PSF) investigation, and mental workload), an objective performance measure (expert evaluation and situation awareness), and time performance were collected from 42 participants and analyzed to quantify the human errors into the human error impact risk index (IRI). The results revealed that teams' risk cognition, situation awareness, technicians' performance and their job satisfaction have all been increased by the proposed on-line MAP instruction comparing to that by the current workcard instruction. Relevance to industry: Several computer-training programs in the maintenance industry have been developed. However, risk cognition during the maintenance tasks has received little attention. This study developed an on-line maintenance assistance platform for preventing human error in the aviation maintenance industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-367
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Human errors
  • Maintenance incidents
  • Mental workload
  • On-line maintenance assistance platform
  • Performance shaping factor (PSF)
  • Situation awareness


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